I met him the only way New Yorkers really can meet - drunk, at a bar on a Friday night. Getting drunk on a Friday night in New York is important, because it allows everyone a moment of rest from the constant need to be hard and fast and mean. It gives people an outlet to release some of the hometown energy that they’d been suppressing the rest of the week - their Michigan smile, their Alabama Twang, their Ohio dance moves. Like some sort of reverse masquerade ball, Friday nights allow New Yorkers to take off their masks and see if anyone might be interested in whatever’s underneath.
I hadn’t planned to go out at all that night. I had worked a 60 hour week and was planning on working through the weekend as well. But Lia persuaded me, and I agreed to meet with her and April for one drink. Well, one drink turned into two drinks and two drinks turned into taking big sips from a water bottle filled with tequila - and before I knew it, we were at the next bar.
A lawyer and another very, very boring man were talking to my friends and I, so I just gave up and sat down. Rolling my buzz in my hands, I looked up and realized I had sat in someone else’s conversation. I asked for a cigarette because, well, a cigarette is one of a drunk girl’s most basic human rights, dammit.
The men I had sat down with we’re changing between English and Spanish and in my drunken mind, I was pretty sure that I was doing the same. This came as a hugely exciting breakthrough, as I have never spoken Spanish before. I thought briefly of the water bottle tequila I had gargled in the bathroom. This new tongue must be it’s gift to me. “Thank you, Tequila”, I whispered.
Time ran the way it does when you’re drinking - sloppily but quickly, with terrible form but alarming speed. I don’t know how and he doesn’t know how, so maybe nobody know’s how - but I found myself holding the hands of the man next to me, in two sets of interlocking pinky’s. The double pinky promise was intended to keep each other totally honest as we shared about the ways we saw the world and how scary New York is and how far away the people we love are.